Author Archive

May 6, 2012

How cognitive surplus will change the world

by garimaraina

The internet allows us to contribute content, not just consume, and is largely built on freely contributed content.
We should celebrate and support projects with ‘civic value’. For example, wikipedia, free and open source software, artists and musicians who freely distribute their works, and so forth.
Creating and sharing–sharing laughter and civic value are really BOTH important. We need to celebrate, support and reward all aspects of positive interaction. We need love and laughter to support us getting down to solve big world problems. Solving world problems comes from love as well, love of ourselves, each other and earth. Great talk, but I think laughing at cute cats or anything else that’s joy spirited only lifts us all up! 🙂

May 6, 2012

Do Schools kill creativity?

by garimaraina

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

May 4, 2012

10 Ways our minds warp time

by garimaraina

Do you sometimes feel that time is going really slow or you don’t realize how fast time has passed when you are doing something fun. I read this really cool article that explains 10 ways our mind plays tricks on us!

http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/06/10-ways-our-minds-warp-time.php

May 4, 2012

Why People’s names are so hard to remember?

by garimaraina

I was reading this blog post and it is so true. Many people have a hard time in remembering other people’s names. Research suggests there’s something unusual about names which makes them particularly tricky to recall. Indeed some researchers suggest that people’s given names are the most difficult of all words to learn.
One study gave participants fake names and biographies to study.Then they were tested on what they could remember.Most of them could recall only 30% of the names.
So names are more difficult to remember than what people do, what their hobbies are and where they come from. And, you won’t be surprised to hear, as we age, most of us get even worse at remembering names.
All kinds of theories have been put forward. One is that lots of us have the same names. People guess that common first names like ‘John’ and surnames like ‘Smith’ are more difficult to remember because, on our minds, one John Smith interferes with another.
Counter-intuitively, though, some research suggests common names are easier to recall than unusual names. Other research suggests the opposite so it’s not exactly clear what is going on.
For most of us our names give away few clues about our appearance, our personalities or anything about us, except maybe a rough age, ethnicity, social class and whether our parents were celebrities (hello ‘Bronx Mogli’, ‘Morocco’ and ‘Bear Blu’—yes, all real names of celebrity offspring).

If, for example, I was called ‘The Pink Panther’, and I happened to look like a pink panther, you’d almost certainly find it easy to remember my name.

Meaning is the key: we seem to find it difficult to remember names because hey have weak semantic hooks. Oddly we find it easier to remember that a person is a potter, i.e. makes pots, than if their surname is actually Potter. We automatically treat names as meaningless, even if they have meaning.

Perhaps it’s because we get so used to the lack of association between a person’s name and what they do, or much else about them. ‘Dave’ could just as easily be a serial murderer as a quantity surveyor. In fact it’s surprising if we meet, say, a Miranda Brain and she turns out to be a neurosurgeon.

That’s why one common trick for remembering names is to force yourself to make some kind of memorable association in your mind. It’s also probably why nicknames are better remembered than given names: they have more meaning because people acquire them for particular traits or events.

Perhaps it’s because we get so used to the lack of association between a person’s name and what they do, or much else about them. ‘Dave’ could just as easily be a serial murderer as a quantity surveyor. In fact it’s surprising if we meet, say, a Miranda Brain and she turns out to be a neurosurgeon.

That’s why one common trick for remembering names is to force yourself to make some kind of memorable association in your mind. It’s also probably why nicknames are better remembered than given names: they have more meaning because people acquire them for particular traits or events.

Here is some links to the research done in this field
1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2894995/
2. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0079742110530093

May 4, 2012

The Two Faces of Creativity

by garimaraina

Organizations often struggle to come up with innovative ideas. This article i was reading brings to life the complex duality of the selling process for people in public relations. Perhaps you’ve read the articles that outline how creative people are ambiguous, malleable and two-faced – as if they’re negative qualities. In truth, they’re necessary qualities because the individual brainstormer has several balancing acts to master if they’re going to successfully sell their Big Idea to the decision maker.
Interested? Read further at http://www.andyeklund.com/creativestreak/2012/04/the-two-faces-of-creativity.html#more

April 25, 2012

Software that can compose music!

by garimaraina

Well since we have a music session tonight, this article is so apt!!

David Cope is a professor at UC Santa Cruz who had created a software program Emmy ( originally Experiments in Musical Intelligence-EMI). She produced thousands of scores in the style of classical heavyweights, scores so impressive that classical music scholars failed to identify them as computer-created. David Cope faced a lot of criticism because people thought the machine was stealing people’s creativity! He was dubbed “The Tin Man” after the Wizard of Oz character who didn’t have any heart. David Cope discontinued with his project.

Emily Howell,a successor to Emmy was created by David Cope during the 1990s. Emily consists of an interactive interface that allows both musical and language communication. By encouraging and discouraging the program, Cope attempts to “teach” it to compose music more to his liking. The program uses only the output of a previous composing program called Experiments in Musical Intelligence (EMI) as a source database for its musical choices.

Emily Howell’s first album (due out in February 2010) will be available from Centaur Records. Titled From Darkness, Light, this album contains her Opus 1, Opus 2, and Opus 3 compositions for chamber orchestra and multiple pianos.

This is the link to the article
http://www.psmag.com/culture-society/triumph-of-the-cyborg-composer-8507/

April 24, 2012

Building Blocks that blink,beep and teach

by garimaraina

Imagine a set of electronics as easy to play with as Legos. TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.
You can call it a “high-tech toy” that engages children to actively participate, that stimulates their creativity, rather than force them to passively sit back, while their creativeness dissolves into the technology. Instead of having to program, to wire, to solder, littleBits allow you to program using very simple intuitive gestures.
LittleBits are electronic modules with each one specific function. They’re pre-engineered to be light, sound, motors and sensors. And the best part about it is they snap together with magnets. So you can’t put them the wrong way. The bricks are color-coded. Green is output, blue is power, pink is input and orange is wire. So all you need to do is snap a blue to a green and very quickly you can start making larger circuits.
This is the link to her talk

April 24, 2012

Culture and Creativity

by garimaraina

This is a really cool article about beliefs,culture and creativity that i found while browsing through the net and avoiding to study for the finals!
http://creatingminds.org/articles/creative_culture.htm

April 24, 2012

Lateral Thinking

by garimaraina

A major force in British creative thinking is Edward de Bono. Although Maltese in origin, de Bono has doctorates from both Oxford and Cambridge and is most famous for his addition of the term ‘lateral thinking’ to the English language in his 1967 book, ‘The Use of Lateral Thinking’. Since then, he has written around 40 books on creativity and thinking. This article is a whistle-stop tour of some of his more notable methods! Here is the link! Enjoy!
http://creatingminds.org/articles/lateral_thinking.htm

January 18, 2012

Origami-One Unit Instructions

by garimaraina